Opining on opinionatedness

So, what did I do at the weekend? Well, Saturday, I awoke sluggishly late, shuffled into the kitchen, first drug not caffeine, but a decongestant for the sinus headache. And I prepared a breakfast of banana and honey porridge, and put on some music, and started to tidy up, becoming more convinced that someone has been breaking in and, Milk Tray-like, leaving extra cutlery in my sink; and put a load of washing on, sorted out the pile of paperwork amassed on the table, and caught Football Focus, and carried on cleaning, and was going to go for a run, but discovered I’d left my trainers in work, which kind of relieved me somewhat, as I hadn’t completely shifted the headache, but I took a bath anyway, and then started preparing supper…

Scratch that. What’s the point of such ‘twittering’? It’s surely not of the slightest interest. In part, I guess, because I’ve made no effort to relate it to anything; because it contains neither information nor opinion. But then, what’s so interesting about opinions?

Doug Stanhope summed it up well in his slot on the last Newswipe, in which he had things to say about people and their opinions. How we’re encouraged by media and pollster pretension to believe that someone somewhere cares what we think, wants us to believe our opinions are interesting and important and that they matter. It makes us feel good, such that, consequently, we offer up opinions that we either don’t really hold, or are just cluelessly stupid. And in this information technology age, we can readily, narcissistically sound off. He is, of course, expressing an opinion; but he does (in my opinion) have a point. He extends this to blogging – if you’re interested you might still catch him here (forward to 5:48).

The sad irony thing about this sorry state of affairs is that the nutter talking to himself in public blogger who may actually have something to say is often overlooked and ignored; yet ‘opinion’ as and when voiced by a celebrity is all too readily latched onto as worthwhile and relevant. When publicity-seeking egocentric asses who really believe their own over-inflated importance want to sound profound or challenging, we seem to take it so seriously: either nodding all goggle-eyed in support of a cause championed; or getting all flustered with rage.

Take Elton John (sorry, Sir Elton, because we really must respect our establishment pillars, eh?): expressing an opinion (why shouldn’t he?) that Jesus was gay (so what?). Like it matters, the opining of someone who has barely produced anything of musical worth in over thirty years (err, in my opinion), blending instead with the trend in fawned upon, Super Bowl-interval-style mediocrity. Well it does to him. Claiming disillusionment with fame, Elton knows full well that a dash of Lennon-esque controversy in an American magazine will serve to ratchet it back up a few notches. “Fame attracts lunatics,” he said.

By way of contrast, this morning’s Tft(b)D from David Wilkinson (sorry, Revd Dr David) was mostly delightful. For the first two-and-a-half minutes we were treated to a secular, relevant, rational, grounded comment on the problem of science’s public perception. “Part of the problem is an unrealistic view of science in the public mind.” Right on, brother! But, of course, being Tft(b)D, it couldn’t last: its dénouement suggesting that humility in science requires God. Like, if all scientists were Christians, then there would be no problem, because there would be no succumbing to temptation, or yielding to pressure to falsify data and/or exaggerate conclusions. Those pesky unbelieving moral-less scientists are the problem, eh!

Elton’s opinion doesn’t bother me; he’s just being silly. But Wilkinson’s does; it’s misleading.

Just my opinion, like.

4 responses to “Opining on opinionatedness

  1. I found it an interesting, well-informed and current opinion, Lee, fwiw. Nice post and I must change my browsing habits to not keep missing such things. I even liked the first part, but I would. I like minutia and sociology together.


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